What if you had a phone app that could tell the difference between having a heart attack or having gas? Today, 81 percent of all Americans own smartphones; and with smartphones come a variety of apps. But not all apps are for entertainment purposes only. Some apps could be instrumental for your health and wellbeing. In fact, some apps could even make a difference between life and death. The following health apps could one day save your life.
Apple Health Medical ID app
Life happens, and unfortunately, so do illnesses or accidents. So, it’s for these moments, when you may need to seek medical attention that the “Apple Health Medical ID” app comes in handy. Through this free app, your iPhone can store all of your medical information — available at a moment’s notice — for medical professionals to assess you. Built into the app is a virtual “filing cabinet” that can store everything about you, including blood type, medical conditions, medical records, and emergency contacts. And it’s accessible even when your phone is locked, which means health professionals can access it without having to unlock your phone. Unfortunately, this app isn’t built for Android phones, but you can find similar health apps in Google Play Store.
Find My Phone app
While the “Find My iPhone” app isn’t exactly a health app, it has saved lives by helping locate a person in distress or missing. After taking too much of a prescription drug, Sarah found herself lost, confused, and in panic mode. Thankfully, she had the presence of mind to share her location on the free “Find My iPhone” app. Her boyfriend used it to locate her whereabouts. Another 24-year-old man was found two days after he was reported missing, suffering from severe dehydration, a punctured lung, and broken bones. According to CBS46 News, after a frantic search by friends and family, the man was found lying face down, in a ditch, beside a train track. His friends used “Find My iPhone” to locate him. This app allows users to track their devices if they are lost or stolen. Once you have enabled the app on an Apple device, you can track the iPhone. Android users can download a variety of similar apps from Google Play Store.
Red Cross First Aid app
When emergencies strike, it often requires quick thinking to save a person’s life. The American “Red Cross First Aid” app basically places lifesaving information at the fingertips of anyone who needs instant first aid instruction to save a person’s life. While the app is not a replacement for in-class instruction, through this free app — available on both IOS and android phone — you have access to:
- Easy step-by-step instructions for common first aid scenarios
- Prioritized steps to follow during an emergency
- 9-1-1 call button
- Interactive quizzes, plus fun videos and animations to help you learn first aid easily
- Preparedness and safety tips for a variety of severe weather situations
- Instant access for all safety information — any time.
Pet First Aid app
When your non-human family members are in distress, they might need emergency first aid to save their life. Another app by the American Red Cross provides important first aid information for dogs and cats. Free for both IOS and android, the” Pet First Aid” app comes complete with tutorials, quizzes, and learning aids to help keep your pet safe in an emergency — and even during disaster situations. Additionally, the app lets you store your vet’s contact information, as well as medical information for all your pets.
Stay Alive app
Suicide is the tenth leading cause of death in America, according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It’s also the leading cause of death among young people under the age of 19, and the most significant cause of death for men under 45 years. “Stay alive” is a lifesaver if you begin to contemplate suicide or have concerns for a loved one. Developed by Grassroots Suicide Prevention, this free app includes a safety plan with guidance on what to do when you’re having suicidal thoughts. Available on Google Play and the App store, “Stay Alive” is chock full of useful information and tools to help you avert a crisis — and stay alive. Its safety plan provides customizable reasons for living, and even a LifeBox, to store photos and memories that are important to you. The app also includes tips on how to overcome feelings of being overwhelmed. Plus, the app links you directly to crisis resource centers, and if the resource isn’t listed, you can add in your own.
Breast Check Now app
Breast self-exam is an important way to help detect breast cancer early. While there is no one test that can prevent breast cancer, breastcancer.org feels that by checking your breasts regularly in combination with other screening methods, you can increase your chances for early detection. “Breast Check Now” is an app that helps you develop the habit of regularly checking your breasts — like once a month. It also helps keep you “breast aware” with useful information regarding signs and symptoms. “Breast Check Now” is free and available at the App store or Google play.
Today, more than ever, technology is helping us stay safe. The mobile health app market is growing steadily with over 300,000 health apps available worldwide — so the need is there. But it’s important to note that health apps alone should never be your only means of diagnosing your symptoms. Health apps are extremely useful, preventative tools that can keep you on top of your health and provide emergency information at a moment’s notice. Information is power, use it wisely, and it could save your life.
-The UpWellness Team